Transport buying shifts from mode to metrics

Transportation research firm Colography Group indicates shipper attention has shifted from mode to metrics as shippers focus on transit time and performance.

Back in 1983, when Colography Group was founded, shippers bought domestic transportation services by mode and carriers organized their services into those silos, recalls Ted Scherck, president and CEO. Today, the emphasis is on transit time and total supply chain cost.

"In response, leading carriers, including a new breed of asset-light intermediaries, are rolling out cross-modal solutions, leveraging multiple transport assets to provide predictable deliveries in support of just-in-time distribution needs," says Scherck. "Providers across all modes find themselves competing for the same transportation buyer."

Following up on a trend identified in a 2004 survey, Colography Group will launch a research program to examine critical buying factors. The 2004 survey indicated 40% of U.S. businesses use three or more modes of expedited transportation. Today, shippers and consignees have multiple products, modes, carriers and geographies to evaluate before making their buying decisions.

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